Irish Language Blog

Bia le Beoir: Some Irish Words for Good Snack Foods to Eat with Beer Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Mh’anam! Preatsail go leor sa phictiúr seo ach cá bhfuil an bheoir? (grianghraf: By (vincent desjardins) from Paris, France [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Ainmfhocail Ghaeilge ar shneaiceanna blasta a théann go deas le beoir?  Céard iad?  Irish words for tasty snacks that go nicely with beer?  What are they?  Let’s check out a few of these phrases, before returning to our príomh-mhionsraith of the last few blogposts (deochanna na séasúr).

Here are a few that come to mind.  Other suggestions welcome!

brioscáin phrátaí – crisps, or in the US, potato chips

criospaí, crisps (again), or in the US, potato chips.  And I bet you can’t eat just criospa amháin!

brioscán tortilla, a tortilla chip.  Presumably the plural form leaves “tortilla” as is, since loan words (focail iasachta) are typically not lenited.  That gives us “brioscáin tortilla.”  So, we have “brioscáin phrátaí” but “brioscáin tortilla.”  Another type of edible chip would be a “brioscán banana” (pl: brioscáin bhanana), but I don’t think these are very popular with beer!

piseanna talún, peanuts, lit. “earth/ground peas” and if in some amazing way, you can eat just one, it would be “pis talún” (no lenition because of the D-N-T-L-S rule).

preatsal, pl: preatsail, pretzel, which can give us a few additional phrases, like “preatsal taos géar” (a sourdough pretzel), “preatsal bog” (a soft pretzel, sometimes served “te,” hot, and sometimes simply at “teocht an tseomra,” room temperature), and, however “leamh” or “neamhbhlasta” they may be, preatsail gan salann.

uibheacha picilte, pickled eggs, and the singular would be ubh __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __  (freagra thíos)

oinniún picilte, a pickled onion, and the plural would be “oinniúin  __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ (freagra thíos)

Of course, there are also many types of food that go well with beer, but which are more than snacks.  These could include:

ceapaire treabhdóra, a ploughman’s lunch (although in my experience, the various components of a ploughman’s lunch are served separately on a platter, not combined together in a ceapaire).

brocaire te, a hot dog, lit. (very literally) a “hot terrier,” for which the plural would be, brocairí  __ __ __ .  (No lenition, but what happens to the adjective here?  Freagra thíos)

There are several variants for “hamburger,” including:

burgar, a burger, also sometimes spelled “borgaire,” a hamburger, although, hmm, the latter does look suspiciously like a meat patty made from a ground (cy)borg!  Watch out for the metal bits!  Curiously, though, a “burgaire” is “burgher,” as in city administration.  For some more fun with these words, you might to check out Ag an mBeárbaiciú (At the Barbecue) posted in the Irish Language blog on July 19, 2013, which twisted a few readers’ tongues with “burgar bulgair an bhurgaire” and “burgar bulgair Uí Bholguidhir,” and a few other variations.

burgar mairteola, a beefburger

burgar le cáis, a cheeseburger

burgar glasraí or veigeatórach, a veggie or vegetarian burger

Cén bia is fearr leat le do bheoir?

I hope you found these phrases helpful.  Please remember, further suggestions, welcome, either in Irish or in English to be translated into Irish.  SGF – Róislín


ubh phicilte, a pickled egg, with “picilte” becoming “phicilte” because “ubh” is a feminine noun

oinniúin phicilte, pickled onions, with “picilte” becoming “phicilte” for a completely different reason than the freagra above.  Since “oinniúin” as a plural noun now has a slender ending (“-in”), that triggers the lenition (same as with “fir mhaithe” as opposed to “fear maith“).

brocairí teo, with “teo” being the plural form of “te,” a pretty unusual pattern for an Irish adjective, but, well, it is what it is.  Actually, I can’t think of any other adjective with this pattern.  You may recognize the spelling “t-e-o” because it’s also used for comparisons (Tá an cupán tae seo níos teo ná an cupán tae sin).

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